I’ve been dilly-dally-ing recently. Procrastinating…again.
It’s already way past the middle of January and time is a-creeping-on. Looking back to this time last year, I’d already made my plans and committed to my goals, but somehow, this year, things are taking much longer…<sigh>
It’s not all been delayed though. I’ve completed my Wheel of Life, which, as usual, is very wonky! I wouldn’t fancy being on a bike with a front wheel that looks like that!
But, importantly, it’s shown me that there are areas of my life that need and even deserve a little bit more TLC in 2016. Some of the low scores (Health and Fitness scored a measly 4!), have come about as a result of unexpected challenges or because of non-complementary goals in 2015. But that’s okay because it’s another learning point to add to a raft of growth and learning that happened for me last year.
But why do I feel so reluctant to actually commit myself to my 2016 goals?
After all, I’ve seen first-hand what it means to “create the life you want”. I’ve lived my dreams, I’ve felt the fun, the joy and the adventure and success. So why wouldn’t I want to do that all over again?
I’ve also experienced some disappointments. Goals that, in the end didn’t really inspire me to take the actions – they were easy to let go, and there were those goals, that, for circumstantial reasons, just didn’t come together.
But in the end, despite these ‘failures’ I still rank 2015, as one of the best years I’ve had! Being able to look back and immerse myself in happy memories or watch the photos randomly appearing on my screen-saver always brings a smile to my face. So again, I’m left with wondering: why the dilly-dally-ing?!
Goal-getting matters. And writing down the brave acts and bold dreams you intend to accomplish will provide the spark to get them done.
As I reflect on what’s going on in my head, there seems to be two predominant thoughts that are delaying writing down my goals. They go something like this:
“2015 was so good, how can I possibly top that in 2016?”
And, the one a lot of people will be familiar with…
“What if I fail?”
Frankly, both of these ‘reasons’ for delay are about failure. The obvious one of actually failing to achieve my goal(s), and the less obvious reason of feeling that I need to set even bigger goals in order to make 2016 a worthy challenge!
Hmm, ok! Well at least that’s articulated the problem, but it seems slightly ridiculous now that it’s written down!
When I’m out and about talking to people about setting their goals, one of the things I stress is the importance of making sure the goals they are setting are theirs alone, and not driven by some need to placate someone else. The pressure we feel when we “should” do something is often palpable but sometimes unconscious. Consequently, we enter into our goals without realising they are not truly ours. This will inevitably lead not only to failure, but unjustified feelings of regret and disappointment.
So who exactly am I trying to please here? Who will benefit from the goals I set, or, put another way, who may (or may not) judge me for the goals I set?
My family? My friends? My readers? Possibly, but very probably not.
But in any event, I must remember that these are my goals, and so, the opinion of others as to what I should/shouldn’t be doing is largely irrelevant. My ultimate goal (for me) is to strive for the kind of life I want, with the things and experiences I desire captured through the passing years. The ultimate idea being that these things will make me happier, because isn’t that what we all really want?
Well, I’m glad I’ve cleared that up with myself!
So how to deal with those pesky thoughts of failure?
Well, yes, there were some things in 2015 that didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped or expected, but this is also true of the things that went well, because they turned out even better than I expected! So why am I letting this worry me? Frankly, it’s probably the same reason I’ve written above. I care what other people think of me! But in the words of Martha Graham:
What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.
We all place too much conviction in what other people think of us. We are pack animals and I guess we want to fit in, so having people like us is important. However, as we know, we can’t please all of the people all of the time, and so inevitably there are going to be those who have little to no interest in our goals, achievements and as it turns out, our failures. Voila!
So there’s my answer… if it’s none of my business what other people think of me and if I can’t please all of the people all of the time, then what’s to stop me just going for the goals that I feel drawn to?
But I can feel one more tiny (or is it huge?) critic waiting in the wings, ready to criticise my choices and ready to trip me up. This one of course lives within. It’s that inner voice telling me that my goals don’t really measure up to last year, but that if I go too big I’ll probably fail anyway!
I’m sure there are many ways to deal with my inner critic, but for me in these circumstances, having acknowledged that the little tyke is there, I’m now just going to ignore her and do my thing anyway! Yay! At last!
If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.
At last, no further excuses, it’s time to finish setting my goals down on paper. They are mine, I don’t need to worry about others opinions and whatever I choose to do, is right for me right now. The future has yet to come and so some things may change, some things may go in the fullness of time and others will be successful.
On balance, I think that’s enough for now!